The Kingsley Sparkling Brut Rose‘ is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s Sparkling wine made in the Traditional Method by Rack and Riddle. That is all I know about this Bubbly, but that might be enough.
The first thing to note is that $6.99 for a Traditional Method Sparkling wine is crazy cheap. The Traditional Method is the production technique used in Champagne. After the wine is fermented the first time, it is bottled, not all the way to the top, they leave a little room.
Then a measured amount of yeast and sugar is added to each bottle and sometime later, in Champagne a minimum of 18 months, they remove the spent yeast, top off the bottle and add the cork and cage. About every other day for the entire period of the 2nd fermentation the bottles are turned a quarter turn so the dead yeast does not stick to the inside of the bottle.
In the old days all this was done by hand, it is mostly automated now, only the most exclusive Champagne wines are made by hand. It is one of the reasons Champagne costs more than Prosecco. Prosecco is made in the Charmat Method which is a quicker and less complicated way to get bubbles into wine.
The second point is this Bubbly is made by Rack and Riddle, they are a custom Sparkling Wine House with a couple of facilities in northern California. Quake from Cheapwinefinder toured their Sonoma facility on one of his California wine visits. He reported seeing pallets of cases of Sparkling wines from every conceivable wine brand.
There is a very good chance that you have tasted Bubbly made at a Rack and Riddle facility and didn’t know it. The point is that they know how to make Bubbly. I don’t know the origins of this Bubbly, is it made to order for Trader Joe’s? Is it the leftovers from a more expensive Sparkling wine?
I don’t know, I don’t even know what grapes were used in the making of this Brut Rose’. (Just a reminder, Brut means not sweet). You occasionally see Spanish Cava, which is also made in the Traditional Method for under ten bucks. But an American $6.99 Traditional Method Bubbly is rare, Barefoot makes Bubbly is this general price range, but as I recall those wines are made in the less expensive Charmat Method. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
Kingsley Sparkling Brut Rose’ Tasting Notes
The color is on the apricot side of pink and there are plenty of bubbles. I read somewhere that you can tell the quality of a Sparkling wine by the size of the bubbles. I guess that means the length of time the 2nd fermentation lasts to better the bubbles are incorporated into the wine. My first impression when looking at my glass is these bubbles are on the larger side. But, what exactly is the difference between teeny and tiny?
The nose does not give up a lot in terms of aromas, there is a little melon, yeasty bread, some candy spice (red licorice), a hint of cherry. The Kingsley Sparkling Brut Rose’ maybe a little short on aroma, but it is not lacking in flavor.
It tastes of a lemon/strawberry mix, sort of like Italian ice, followed by tart, sour cherry, a slap of minerality, watermelon, and light yeasty bread. It has that lip-smacking acidity that constantly tempts you to take another sip.
- The Kingsley Sparkling Brut Rose’ does not drink like a $6.99 Bubbly.
- I don’t think it is exactly delicious, but it is not bad at all.
- I don’t what your expectations are for a sub 7 buck bubbly, but I think this Bubbly is real bang-for-the-buck wine.